Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway owner David Joiner’s money back guarantee of satisfaction for fans at the third round and final round of the AMA National Speedway Championship at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn Friday night had no takers.
In an exciting night of racing Billy Janniro capped a great season by winning his fourth AMA National Speedway Championship with a perfect third round. Janniro won every heat race and his semi-final, then transferred to the grand final round that he won in convincing style. Janniro finished with a flawless night at 21 points, grabbing the biggest share of the $12,000 riders purse. Janniro finished with a total of 56 points over the three rounds of championship racing.
Sidelined out of the final round in last Sunday’s second championship round in Victorville by up and coming young riders Max Ruml and Gino Manzares, Janniro wasted no time Friday night letting all riders know that he was out for all the marbles. “Every race was a tough race, these young boys Gino Manzares and Max Ruml they’re getting stronger and stronger each week,” Janniro said. “It’s getting tougher and tougher to beat these boys, but me and Hamill still have a little bit of a edge over them, but that isn’t going to last that much longer.”
Five time national champ Billy Hamill was hungry for his sixth national championship and was Janniro’s biggest threat during the evening. Hamill finished second to Janniro in heat 10, the only heat race he did not win until the final. Hamill finished second behind Janniro in Friday’s third round with 18 points and in the championship series with 54 points.
Young riders Gino Manzares and Max Ruml came into the series final with great hopes showing flashes of brilliant riding and giving speedway fans a glimpse of what speedway racing has to look forward to. Ruml tallied 36 total series points finishing fourth and eighth in the third round Friday night with 9 points. Ruml came into the third round after scoring 18 points in the second round. Manzares finished third in overall championship points for the series with 42 and fifth place in the third round with 11 points. These two young men are part of a new group of very skilled riders moving up in the ranks and challenging the old guard in a major way.
The national final race was filled by the four riders scoring the highest points during the third round that included Janniro, Hamill, Ruml and Bart Bast. Janniro choose lane four, Hamill choose lane three, Bast choose the inside lane one and Ruml took two. From the tapes going up Janniro grabbed the lead by going deep in the track. Hamill got inside first, but had a battle on his hands with Bast. A bike length ahead after lap one, Janniro just increased his lead over Hamill and Bast who were locked in a fierce race in second and third. Ruml pushed out on lap one and struggled just a bit behind them. Janniro, without a mistake all night, cruised to his fourth national championship. Bast, who only raced in the third round of the series, finished second racking up a respectable 15 points for the evening. Hamill finished third and Ruml was fourth. “This one has been the sweetest, because of the competition I had, I was giving 110 percent,” Janniro said. “Billy Hamill and I, we pretty much battled for it all the way through, that’s why it’s so special to me,” Janniro said.
The evening began on emotional note as many of the Fast Fridays speedway family mourned the loss of longtime speedway family member Wendy Bast who passed away on Wednesday after a short battle with cancer. Hundreds of signed balloons were released into the night sky in her honor as a crowd of family and friends gathered in the center of the track to remember a very special lady that will be greatly missed by many.
2013 AMA National Championship Results 9-27-13
1-Billy Janniro 3 3 3 3 3 3 3-21
2-Billy Hamill 3 3 2 3 3 3 1-18
3-Bart Bast 3 2 0 3 3 2 2-15
4-Charlie Venegas 2 3 3 3 2 1-14
15-Gino Manzares 3 3 1 2 2 0-11
6-Bryan Yarrow 1 0 3 2 3 1-10
7- Aaron Fox 2 1 3 1 2 0-9
8- Max Ruml 0 2 2 2 1 2 0-9
9-Bryce Starks 1 0 1 2 2-6
10- Eddie Castro 2 0 2 0 1-5
11- Mike Faria 0 2 2 1 0-5
12-Tommy Hedden 2 1 0 1 1-5
13-Bob Hicks 0 2 1 1 0-4
14-Tyson Talkington 0 1 1 0 1-3
15-Kevin Chapman 0 1 0 0 0-1
Total National Championship Points (three rounds)
1-Billy Janniro 21 14 21-56
2-Billy Hamill 18 18 18-54
3-Gino Manazares 17 14 11-42
4-Max Ruml 9-18-9-36
5-Aaron Fox 12 9 9-30
6-Charlie Venegas 5 9 14-28
7 Eddie Castro 10 6 5-21
8-Bryan Yarrow 4 7 10-21
9-Tommy Hedden 7 4 5-16
10-Buck Blair 11 5-16
11-Bart Bast 15-15
Image courtesy American Motorcyclist Association